The University of Dubuque's Helicopter program, which became a valuable asset to the already successful aviation program in 2017, is one of only a few four-year university programs in the country. UD trains students from a variety of backgrounds including traditional, VA and international students. Our alumni are in flight careers around the world in EMS, Utility, Law Enforcement, Military and Helicopter Tours in places such as Hawaii, Florida and the Grand Canyon. From 2020 to 2036, the demand for helicopter pilots is expected to soar, leaving shortages of upwards of 49,000 pilots, according to Boeing and Airbus. There is no better time to become a helicopter pilot. In fact, since 2018 UD has graduated nearly 100 Helicopter pilots (and growing) into the industry.

Our fleet consists of Guimbal Carbi G2s known to be one of the safest training Helicopters and the Bell 206 Jet Ranger for advanced turbine flight training. Virtual Reality training for both the Guimbal and Bell 206 are a part of our state-of-the-art training. In these technologically advanced aircraft you will complete Private, Instrument, Commercial and Flight instructor certificates. A unique opportunity at our program is to provide community support/partnership with the Dubuque County Sheriff's office and Fire Department (search and rescue), which allows for real life experience.

Flying in Iowa allows you to experience all types of weather you may encounter in your professional career, along with flying in challenging airspaces. Whether it be over the skies of Chicago or over Dubuque, our students are prepared for any scenario.

At UD, our mission is to kick start your professional career with a smaller training environment allowing for more personalized instruction.

VA students: UD is a VA friendly school that has the GI Bill® and yellow ribbon program. We are one of the only schools that offers a very comprehensive finance package for veterans. VA can cover 100% flight and tuition.

Traditional students: UD offers awards and scholarships to assist in helping students afford training. UD will also assist in securing you loans, and financial aid needed for training.

International sponsored students: Our helicopter training has impacted students beyond the United States. Our program has years of experience working with sponsored students from other counties with our known SEVIS program. Students will also have access to a university international coordinator on campus. Our program is formatted to give our international students unique and comprehensive training.


GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government Web site at